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Buck Lake Birding

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  • tsb2001@sasktel.net
    I may have finally solved the mystery of why this Lake has two names associated with it. The Lake is very near the site of the previous Buck Lake School ,which
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 8, 2011
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      I may have finally solved the mystery of why this Lake has two names associated with it. The Lake is very near the site of the previous Buck Lake School ,which I think explains that title. The other name Bratt's Lake is probably associated with the Bratt's Lake Rural Municipality and some pioneers in the area.

      More important news is that this body of water has now reached 'unprecedented size after being reduced to a shallow pond because of the 'dewatering' associated with the adjacent turf farm in 2010. I have never seen this body of water so large during decades of birding visits.

      Today, the Lake extends from the very margin of the grid road which intersects with Yankee Ridge Road and Range Road # 193, east more than one mile along Townships Road # 144 towards Gray. Although shallow in the east, this expansive flooded kettle will no doubt remain a magnet for waterfowl for several more years given some typical inputs. The snow melt runoff this spring here as elsewhere was a huge event. A major downpour associated with an intense thunder storm last month augmented the earlier event to create the current expanse of water.

      When birding this area be certain to check along # 144 east for excellent views of shorebirds along the northern edge near the road. Previously the water was well back from this road and views of the shoreline much too distant for value. During a brief evening visit here on September 04, I saw 20+ Baird's Sandpipers, a couple of distinctive winter/basic plumaged Sanderlings, a Least Sandpiper, 2 Black-bellied Plovers, a Golden Plover, 5 Red-necked Phalaropes, plus several Killdeers and American Avocets.

      Buck Lake is great for shorebirds including one of the best in the Regina area for seeing Buff-breasted Sandpipers in late May during migration, various passage waterfowl including huge flocks of Snow Geese plus numbers of Ross's Geese, rarer gulls-Sabine's and other species, and many raptors including Prairie, Peregrine and Gyrfalcons during passage. Other visitors include the typical accipiters-Cooper's and Sharp-shinned, and the buteos-Red-tailed Hawks (various morphs), Swainson's, Rough-legged and sometimes Ferruginous Hawks.

      Remember to bring a scope or a long lens for birding here and note the position of the sun particularly during mornings when it reflects off the surface rendering views from the access looking east, impossible. This is then a much better location for evening or later afternoon visits.

      When driving east and returning west on Yankee Ridge Road from # 6 , check the power poles in adjacent fields on the north side. This stretch of hydro poles often has raptors.

      In addition to the birds already mentioned, this area is great for seeing large flocks of Lapland Longspurs during migration. Nearby farmyards typically have typical resident and passage passerines and other various migrants during passage.

      Enjoy your birding
      Bob L
      Regina





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Val T
      You hit the nail square on Bob! The cemetery close-by is also called Buck Lake Cemetery and there are pioneers buried in the cemetery with the last name of
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 8, 2011
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        You hit the nail square on Bob! The cemetery close-by is also called Buck Lake Cemetery and there are pioneers buried in the cemetery with the last name of Bratt. Records are kept in Estlin. :-)

        We noticed this year the shore birding around this lake hasn't been as successful as in past years and wondered if it was because the sand/dirt shoreline virtually disappeared for over a month as the waters rose to the cropping area.

        We noticed that a lake you told us about 'Dry Lake' is also filled to capacity after being bone dry for two years. We enjoyed Tundra Swans and all sorts of neat sightings here in the past.

        Perhaps thought will be given to the expense of purposely draining areas when they fill up again in a year like this. The land along drive-in road seems to be filled again south of Regina.

        Val T - McTaggart

        --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, tsb2001@... wrote:
        >
        > I may have finally solved the mystery of why this Lake has two names associated with it. The Lake is very near the site of the previous Buck Lake School ,which I think explains that title. The other name Bratt's Lake is probably associated with the Bratt's Lake Rural Municipality and some pioneers in the area.
        >
        > More important news is that this body of water has now reached 'unprecedented size after being reduced to a shallow pond because of the 'dewatering' associated with the adjacent turf farm in 2010. I have never seen this body of water so large during decades of birding visits.
        >
        > Today, the Lake extends from the very margin of the grid road which intersects with Yankee Ridge Road and Range Road # 193, east more than one mile along Townships Road # 144 towards Gray. Although shallow in the east, this expansive flooded kettle will no doubt remain a magnet for waterfowl for several more years given some typical inputs. The snow melt runoff this spring here as elsewhere was a huge event. A major downpour associated with an intense thunder storm last month augmented the earlier event to create the current expanse of water.
        >
        > When birding this area be certain to check along # 144 east for excellent views of shorebirds along the northern edge near the road. Previously the water was well back from this road and views of the shoreline much too distant for value. During a brief evening visit here on September 04, I saw 20+ Baird's Sandpipers, a couple of distinctive winter/basic plumaged Sanderlings, a Least Sandpiper, 2 Black-bellied Plovers, a Golden Plover, 5 Red-necked Phalaropes, plus several Killdeers and American Avocets.
        >
        > Buck Lake is great for shorebirds including one of the best in the Regina area for seeing Buff-breasted Sandpipers in late May during migration, various passage waterfowl including huge flocks of Snow Geese plus numbers of Ross's Geese, rarer gulls-Sabine's and other species, and many raptors including Prairie, Peregrine and Gyrfalcons during passage. Other visitors include the typical accipiters-Cooper's and Sharp-shinned, and the buteos-Red-tailed Hawks (various morphs), Swainson's, Rough-legged and sometimes Ferruginous Hawks.
        >
        > Remember to bring a scope or a long lens for birding here and note the position of the sun particularly during mornings when it reflects off the surface rendering views from the access looking east, impossible. This is then a much better location for evening or later afternoon visits.
        >
        > When driving east and returning west on Yankee Ridge Road from # 6 , check the power poles in adjacent fields on the north side. This stretch of hydro poles often has raptors.
        >
        > In addition to the birds already mentioned, this area is great for seeing large flocks of Lapland Longspurs during migration. Nearby farmyards typically have typical resident and passage passerines and other various migrants during passage.
        >
        > Enjoy your birding
        > Bob L
        > Regina
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Val T
        Sorry, the records for Buck Lake Cemetery are in Wilcox even though it is the Estlin-Buck Lake Cemetery! It s complicated. Buck Lake Community pioneers came in
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2011
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          Sorry, the records for Buck Lake Cemetery are in Wilcox even though it is the Estlin-Buck Lake Cemetery! It's complicated. Buck Lake Community pioneers came in 1889. The first man to settle near the lake was named Buck. Little is known about him, but he did the first plowing near the lake. He did not stay long, but the lake was named after him, and thus the district also got the name. R. M. of Bratt's Lake No. 129 was named in honor of Jesse Bratt, the original homesteader, who filed and proved up on the south side of the lake. A friend of ours was a teacher at the Buck Lake School in the 1940s. Anyway, have a good birding day everyone.

          Val T - McTaggart
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